Most Poorly-Designed Official Maps

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by molybdochalkos, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    Official Maps with Poor Design Choices

    What are poor design choices in official maps? I'd like to have a server rotation that's a mixed bag of good community and official maps. In order to do so, I've been looking for criticisms against any of the in-game maps to help me make a decision on which ones to drop. I'd also like to attempt to fix issues with existing maps as a sort of introduction to map making for myself. The only critiques I can find are with regards to some of the more obvious choices, such as 2fort's endless stalemates.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  2. puxorb

    aa puxorb L7: Emoticon

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    No. Just no.
     
  3. Egan

    aa Egan

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    For points against why you may think Hightower / Harvest are bad maps, I'd recommend watching my interview with the author of Junction / Harvest, Heyo, available here. They have a place - for people who like deathmatch (look how popular orange_x is) - so they aren't really bad maps.

    Also I'd recommend reading through Valkyrie's guide to competitive mapping here, which mentions how ctf_2fort used to be fit for competitive play in previous versions of TF2 (so not the map's fault necessarily that it plays badly nowadays).
     
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  4. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the reply, I didn't realize the site had a youtube channel. I'll probably check out the rest of the videos on there too to see if they're of any use for me.

    Edit: Appreciate the video, some interesting insight on both Harvest and Junction. I don't mean to discredit the maps by calling them poorly-designed, so I'll exclude those examples from my post. The reason I listed them was because they were some of the most common names I found when looking on other sites, and I didn't want to hear the same thing repeated here and waste anyone's time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  5. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    I've never considered Harvest to be particularly bad, although it's also kind of hard to screw up a KOTH map. Maybe the point changes hands more often than it ought to, but people liked Schwa's Garbage Day for exactly that reason.
     
  6. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    The majority of the map is completely fine, I was mostly referring to the spawn points and how easily/often they are camped, which can unfortunately ruin the entire map for people.
     
  7. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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  8. sevin

    aa sevin

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    Goldrush and Hoodoo? Goldrush is among the top 5 maps for most people, and I don't think a majority of people dislike Hoodoo.
     
  9. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    I'll remove the list of examples to encourage more discussion about the actual topic.
     
  10. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    the fact that it took 25 minutes to get a market gardener kill on junction is enough to make it bad in my eyes.

    Jokes aside, junction is pretty bad because it has a lot of narrow spaces, and even when you're free from those you just barely have enough room to rocket jump around. It lacks a more prominent vertical dimension than just having a ledge that you can barrage the enemy team from.
     
  11. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Junction. As much as I am a crotchety miser about the entire game and don't like a lot of official maps (particularly TFC ports), Junction is without a doubt forever the top of my list.

    Small or narrow aren't enough to describe it. It is visually noisy... there is stuff everywhere to distract you, very few plain blank areas. It is cluttered, it is hard to maneuver because there is always something to get caught on. The best (and I think 98% accurate) way to describe it is: a Natural Selection map ported into TF2. It would fit right in with all the tight hallways and enclosed spaces that a humans vs aliens conflict desires.
     
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  12. puxorb

    aa puxorb L7: Emoticon

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    Why does this thread exist? Only to stir up emotion and cause arguments.

    Instead of asking what maps are bad, ask which ones are good and leave out ones that aren't recommended. These are not products given to you to review, they were someone's creation; a labor of love, taking countless hours to create. Imagine spending that much time on something only to have someone talk bad about it.

    In my eyes all maps are good. Some are better than others but of all the ones you listed I don't hate a single one. Junction might be small, but it was intended for small amounts of players. Teams of 4-6 work really well on that map. And as for hoodoo, it was my favorite payload map when I was new to TF2.
     
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  13. Ynders

    aa Ynders absolutely gormful

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    One of my favorite things about tf2 is that the maps don't have to be well designed to be fun. Sure, we could talk about how some maps don't follow the meta, or are stalematey, or easily spawncamped, what have you, but some of my favorite moments in tf2 are those when I'm just fooling around, being a pyroshark on 2fort, when in fifteen minutes most of the players are just having an all-out war, whaling on each other with neon signs. Sure, 2fort, Hightower, Harvest, and Goldrush aren't popular in the mainstream competitive community, but they sure as hell are fun.
     
  14. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Eh, see, I don't think 2fort, Hightower, Harvest or Goldrush is fun at all. It's just amplifies the meatgrinder that is pub servers to unfun levels.
     
  15. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    ugh, positivity
     
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  16. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    For those of you who haven't pieced it together, this gentleman just dissed YM's map, Hoodoo. I expect threatening .vmfs to be sent if he steps on the great youme's toes again any time soon.

    I think we can probably split bad maps into several sections of increasing severity. There's the silly maps, that lend themselves to less intelligent play but remain fun for deathmatching; there's "old" maps, where the play was geared towards "old" TF2's grinding playstyle; and there's real stinkers, which failed even within their time and were surpassed by much better maps soon afterwards.

    Silly maps:
    Turbine, Standin, DeGroot Keep, Hightower/Helltower, Harvest

    "Old" maps:
    2Fort, Dustbowl, Junction, Goldrush, Hoodoo, Asteroid

    Stinkers:
    5Gorge, Well (both types), Hydro, Doomsday

    Stinkers were surpassed in Straight-line 5cp by Granary for 5gorge and Well, Hydro by community favourite tc_meridian and I'm gonna say sd_congo for better than Doomsday. Let me know your opinions.
     
  17. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    Do you honestly think that's the reason I made this thread? What would I have to gain from insulting a community like this? I have already stated my motive. Just because someone spends a lot of time on something, that doesn't mean it can't be criticized. The reason I ask for "bad" maps is because from what I understand, there's less of them then there are "good" ones. And I didn't use the word bad, I said poorly-designed. What I mean by this isn't that the map is awful and should never be played on. Choke points that rarely see pushes through them, objectives that are never captured because of whatever reason, these types of problems exist and I would like to know where. If my word choice is an issue you can be comforted by the fact that I mean no ill-will to any mapper who's creation I bring up in this thread, and I'm sure that goes for everyone else who's also posted responses.
     
  18. puxorb

    aa puxorb L7: Emoticon

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    I didn't mean to upset anyone, I am sorry. I think what I was trying to say is that asking for maps that are poorly-designed is dangerous. Everyone has a different opinion on a map, and even if you give a reason why you think it is poor, someone might like that map for exactly that reason.

    One example is cp_5gorge. Every single one of my friends hates it because it usually ends in a stalemate if teams are even slightly balanced. But it is my favorite map in the game solely for that reason alone. So because of this, when asking a group of people I know, 5/6 will tell you that its a bad map and 1/6 will say its good.

    If I were you, I would add the maps that you think are fun to play, and if there is one or two that people really seem to dislike, then don't add them. But "poorly-designed" is all subjective, and one thought or another could really upset someone. (Not to mention the creators of some of the maps you mentioned frequent this site.) That was all I was trying to say. I'm sorry for making you look bad. :<
     
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  19. molybdochalkos

    molybdochalkos L1: Registered

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    I understand the issue with my word choice, and realize my mistake. I'd like to move past that and continue with the thread. I appreciate your apology though, and I'll attempt to reword the OP in the meanwhile.

    Edit: I'd like to change the thread title to "Official Maps with Poor Design Choices", but it seems that even though I changed it in the editor, it doesn't appear to have been changed outside of the editor. If anyone knows of an alternative way to change titles I'd appreciate a response.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  20. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    Puxorb makes a compelling argument, but I still say you can divide between poorly-designed and well-designed maps. Effectively he's arguing for Relativism, saying that no map, or even no game (Call of Duty, TF2, Counterstrike), can be good or bad because "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". However, such an attitude falls flat in the real world: no judge will accept your defense on murder because you thought it was just and that these things are relative!

    So clearly, some kind of majority vote is necessary to decide what is right and what is wrong. Most people say murder is bad, therefore murder is bad. In ethics, things are always muddy though, and philosophers have debated for years on whether war - sanctioned murder - is just.

    Likewise, "good" and "bad" game design is similarly muddy because different groups of people like different things. You might have an overall majority saying that cp_orange is bad, but the people who play it will majority disagree. And I this really is what Puxorb is arguing about - that some communities like some maps and that others like others. Think of all the 24/7 2Fort servers!

    But as game designers, we actually have a job to do. Well, Valve are the game designers and we help out sometimes rarely. That job is to make a game that makes a specific environment for the player. I think we feel able to point to good and bad maps because Valve have set us the guidelines of what playing TF2 should feel like. Those guidelines have changed over time - which is why 2Fort/Dustbowl/Goldrush have fallen out of favour. Remember that these were popular and "well designed" maps back in the day.

    So currently, the environment of TF2 is one where each class is equally strong, where battle over one area should continue for no more than 5 minutes, and that player lives should last roughly 1 minute. By this definition, all of the "bad maps" fail. A lot of them are stronger for demomen and medics than "good maps", and time spent fighting over a single area could go on for ever.

    Again, this is just what I feel Valve and the TF2maps community have been aiming to make recently. Interestingly, I think Valve is a little more old-school than this community as well, as evidenced by maps like rd_asteroid, harkening back to 2Fort style massive bases with little health. Nevertheless, we are never going to see another 2Fort again. It is no longer fit for TF2. It no longer fits the game it was designed for, which means it's poorly designed. 2Fort is a bad map.
     
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